Reading List

“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”

Stephen King may not be the world’s greatest literary genius, but he got it right with this comment. More than this, though, reading regularly is one of the best ways to improve your own vocabulary, knowledge, and understanding of the world you live in. For all the opinions that I hear voiced every day, it pains me that more of my conversations aren’t about books.

In that light, on this page I’ll maintain a list of books that I’m reading or have recently read. I welcome any and all comments on the books listed here, as well as suggestions of any other books or writers that you think I might enjoy. Highlighted titles indicate links to my own reviews on this site.

(Update: Sorry, comments closed due to excessive spam.)


  • On Food & Cooking, Harold McGee

In 2012:

  1. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell Amazon Icon
  2. Foundation, Isaac Asimov Amazon Icon
  3. Foundation and Empire, Isaac Asimov
  4. Second Foundation, Isaac Asimov
  5. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
  6. The Constant Gardener, John le Carré
  7. The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi

In 2011:

  1. Room, Emily Donoghue Amazon Icon
  2. Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  3. SuperFreakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  4. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
  5. Dog Blood, David Moody Amazon Icon
  6. Number9dream, David Mitchell Amazon Icon
  7. Dune Messiah, Frank Herbert Amazon Icon
  8. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson Amazon Icon
  9. The Influencing Machine, Brooke Gladstone Amazon Icon
  10. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne
  11. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry Amazon Icon
  12. Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shteyngart Amazon Icon
  13. Consider Phlebas, Iain M. Banks Amazon Icon
  14. Ghetto at the Center of the World, Gordon Mathews Amazon Icon
  15. The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco Amazon Icon
  16. 11/22/63, Stephen King Amazon Icon
  17. The Prague Cemetery, Umberto Eco Amazon Icon

In 2010:

  1. Freedom™, Daniel Suarez Amazon Icon
  2. Wetlands, Charlotte Roche Amazon Icon
  3. The Angel’s Game, Carlos Ruiz Zafón Amazon Icon
  4. Travels in the Scriptorium, Paul Auster Amazon Icon
  5. The Unnamed, Joshua Ferris Amazon Icon
  6. Q & A, Vikas Swarup Amazon Icon
  7. Tell-All, Chuck Palahniuk Amazon Icon
  8. The Passage, Justin Cronin Amazon Icon
  9. Sleepless, Charlie Huston Amazon Icon
  10. How I Became a Famous Novelist, Steve Hely Amazon Icon
  11. Less Than Zero, Bret Easton Ellis Amazon Icon
  12. Imperial Bedrooms, Bret Easton Ellis Amazon Icon
  13. Kraken, China Miéville Amazon Icon
  14. Lowboy, John Wray Amazon Icon
  15. A Nail Through the Heart, Timothy Hallinan Amazon Icon
  16. Bambi vs. Godzilla, David Mamet Amazon Icon
  17. Dracula, Bram Stoker
  18. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  19. The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
  20. The Shining, Stephen King
  21. Freedom, Jonathan Franzen
  22. Night Shift, Stephen King Amazon Icon
  23. Patient Zero, Jonathan Maberry Amazon Icon
  24. Beatrice and Virgil, Yann Martel Amazon Icon
  25. Zero History, William Gibson Amazon Icon
  26. A Visit From the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan Amazon Icon
  27. Financial Lives of the Poets, Jess Walter Amazon Icon

In 2009:

  1. The Terror, Dan Simmons Amazon Icon
  2. Lush Life, Richard Price Amazon Icon
  3. Snuff, Chuck Palahniuk Amazon Icon
  4. Getting Things Done, David Allen Amazon Icon
  5. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald Amazon Icon
  6. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov Amazon Icon
  7. Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell Amazon Icon
  8. Sacred Games, Vikram Chandra Amazon Icon
  9. Then We Came to the End, Joshua Ferris Amazon Icon
  10. City of Tiny Lights, Patrick Neate Amazon Icon
  11. Daemon, Daniel Suarez Amazon Icon
  12. Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts Amazon Icon
  13. Beat the Reaper, Josh Bazell Amazon Icon
  14. The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, Charlie Huston Amazon Icon
  15. Hater, David Moody Amazon Icon
  16. Beloved, Toni Morrison Amazon Icon
  17. Netherland, Joseph O’Neill Amazon Icon
  18. Neuromancer, William Gibson Amazon Icon
  19. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell Amazon Icon
  20. The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Tales, H.P. Lovecraft Amazon Icon
  21. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien Amazon Icon
  22. Infected, Scott Sigler Amazon Icon
  23. The Road, Cormac McCarthy Amazon Icon
  24. Parasite Eve, Hideaki Sena Amazon Icon
  25. Loop, Koji Suzuki Amazon Icon
  26. Drood, Dan Simmons Amazon Icon
  27. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro Amazon Icon
  28. The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown Amazon Icon
  29. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson Amazon Icon
  30. Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Andersen Amazon Icon
  31. The Body, Hanef Kureishi Amazon Icon
  32. Pygmy, Chuck Palahniuk Amazon Icon
  33. The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood Amazon Icon
  34. Under the Dome, Stephen King Amazon Icon
  35. On Writing Well, William Zinsser Amazon Icon
  36. Asterios Polyp, David Mazzucchelli Amazon Icon

In 2008:

  1. The Zero, Jess Walter
  2. Omnivore, Piers Anthony
  3. The War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells
  4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  5. Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
  6. Best American Science and Nature Writing 2006, Brian Greene, ed.
  7. The Coming Plague, Laurie Garrett
  8. Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
  9. Microbe, Alan P. Zelicoff, M.D., and Michael Bellomo
  10. Moonraker, Ian Fleming
  11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
  12. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling
  13. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling
  14. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling
  15. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling
  16. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling
  17. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling
  18. A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle
  19. The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas (Richard Pevear, transl.)
  20. Microcosm, Carl Zimmer
  21. Twenty Years After, Alexandre Dumas
  22. The Dumas Club (nee The Club Dumas), Arturo Perez-Reverte
  23. That Hideous Strength, C.S. Lewis
  24. A Year in the Merde, Stephen Clarke
  25. Anathem, Neal Stephenson
  26. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
  27. Crime, Irvine Welsh

In 2007:

  1. World War Z, Max Brooks
  2. Next, Michael Crichton
  3. The Ruins, Scott Smith
  4. DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics, Klaus Janson
  5. Quicksilver, Neal Stephenson (SUCKED)
  6. Purity of Blood, Arturo Perez-Reverte
  7. Crazy Gary’s Mobile Disco, Gary Owen
  8. Waiting for Snow in Havana, Carlos Eire
  9. A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah (GREAT)
  10. On Writing Well, William Zinsser
  11. What Is the What, Dave Eggers
  12. The Abortionist’s Daughter, Elisabeth Hyde
  13. Carry Me Down, M.J. Hyland
  14. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
  15. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, Richard P. Feynman
  16. A Spot of Bother, Mark Haddon
  17. Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer
  18. Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey, Chuck Palahniuk
  19. Dune, Frank Herbert
  20. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman
  21. If You Liked School, You’ll Love Work, Irvine Welsh
  22. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon
  23. Spook Country, William Gibson
  24. House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus III
  25. Ideas into Words, Elise Hancock

In 2006:

  1. Lunar Park, Bret Easton Ellis
  2. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson
  4. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
  5. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, Umberto Eco
  6. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas (AWESOME)
  7. Thank You For Smoking, Christopher Buckley
  8. All Tomorrow’s Parties, William Gibson
  9. Cell, Stephen King
  10. Company, Max Barry
  11. The Jungle, Upton Sinclair (STRONG)
  12. Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, Ann Rice (SO DULL)
  13. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke (FUN)
  14. The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem (PRETENTIOUS)
  15. The Harmony Silk Factory, Tash Aw
  16. We the Media, Dan Gillmor
  17. The Alienist, Caleb Carr
  18. JPod, Douglas Coupland (PRETTY OK!)
  19. Londonstani, Gautam Malkani
  20. Terrorist, John Updike
  21. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison (POWERFUL)
  22. The World is Flat (2e), Thomas L. Friedman (OVERRATED)
  23. Nation of Rebels, Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter
  24. The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs, Irvine Welsh
  25. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro (REALLY GOOD)
  26. Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow, Faïza Guèna
  27. Adverbs, Daniel Handler
  28. The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
  29. The Road, Cormac McCarthy (AMAZING)
  30. The Futurist, James P. Othmer
  31. Making Comics, Scott McCloud
  32. The Keep, Jennifer Egan
  33. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
  34. Captain Alatriste, Arturo Perez-Reverte
  35. The Town That Forgot How to Breathe, Kenneth J. Harvey
  36. Nick Adams Stories, Ernest Hemmingway